The activities you choose for toddlers from 1 to 4 years old sets them up for a lifetime learning experience. You should strive to make learning activities fun for toddlers while teaching them something useful. One of the first cognitive learning experiences for toddlers is the recognition of shapes and colors – and it’s easy to think of fun games to play with materials you have on hand.
An activity that’s easy to put together and fun for the toddlers as well as combining physical activity is that of “rolling the dice” and telling you what shape and color on the dice is turned up.
Here’s how to set up and play the “roll the dice” game:
- Choose a couple of medium sized boxes that the toddler can easily toss.
- “Gift wrap” the box in white or solid color paper.
- Cut out circles, triangles and squares that will fit in the middle of each side on the box. Cut them from different colors of construction paper.
- Glue or tape the colored shapes in the middle of each side of the box.
Now you’re ready to play:
- Give one of the box’s to the toddler and let him toss it (they love to throw things).
- Get him or her to tell you the shape and color that comes out on top.
- Hand him the other box and have him toss it, repeating the question about the shape and color.
- If you’re playing with older toddlers, you can have them tell you if he’s “tossed” a matching pair of shapes and/or colors.
A resource for square boxes that will work is your local post office or mailbox store – anywhere they sell small boxes to ship things. If you are having trouble finding perfectly square boxes to work with, you can also use foam rubber, Styrofoam or even the green stuff used to create floral arrangements from your local florist or craft store.
Remember, toddlers have a very limited attention span – so when they tire of one thing, be ready to divert them on to another path.